Who knew there was a whole month dedicated to sun safety? July is officially UV Safety Awareness Month, and for the next two months, we want you all to take extra precautions when out in the sun, during heatwaves and when celebrating holidays like 4th of July and Labor day. AFC Urgent Care Torrington is here to guide you through the hot, humid and highest UV ray months with tips on UV protection, how to avoid heat exhaustion, sunstroke and other UV Ray Health Hazards.!
UV Rays On The Spectrum
UV rays are nothing to mess around with. The sun's rays come in three different forms: UVA, UVB, and UVC. Although UVC doesn't reach the Earth's surface due to its shorter wavelength (it also can't penetrate through our atmosphere), you can still be exposed to it by using unnatural sources like tanning beds and UV sun lamps.
The other two ultraviolet types—UVB and UVA—are the ones that cause damage to your skin when exposed for extended periods of time. UVB rays are the ones that can cause serious burns and damage to your eyes. It is important that you avoid prolonged exposure to these rays to avoid these health risks.
Sunscreen Helps Protect Your Skin From The Effects Of UV Radiation.
There are few ways to protect against UV rays and sunscreen is one of them:
- Use sunscreen with at least a 30 SPF (sun protection factor) rating.
- Apply sunscreen to all exposed areas of your skin 15 minutes before going outdoors. If you wait longer than that, the sunscreen may not be effective in protecting you from UV radiation. Avoid applying it too close to your eyes, mouth and mucous membranes, as this can cause irritation.
- Reapply your sunscreen every two hours when outdoors or more frequently if sweating heavily or swimming often during the day.
- If you're going to be outside for more than 15 minutes, wear sunscreen with at least a 30 SPF (sun protection factor) rating. The higher the SPF, the better!
How Else Can I Prevent The Effects Of UV Radiation?
Sunscreen is only one option to prevent the harmful effects of sun radiation. But, you can also try any of these tips to avoid the sun, especially during a heat wave that we will have this summer:
- Wearing hats and clothing that cover the full body
- Wearing sunglasses for eye protection against the sun's UV rays
- Taking an umbrella with you, especially to the beach
- Finding shaded areas if you prefer to be outside (But be careful of ticks!)
- Going to a mall or a cooling station to avoid the heat and the days when UV rays are at its highest
- Keep hydrated!
Other Potential Risks From Too Much Sun Exposure: Sun stroke And Heat Exhaustion
Sometimes, too much exposure to UV rays can lead to sunstroke and heat exhaustion. Both are serious conditions that need medical attention, right away! Symptoms are similar to flu-like symptoms, such as muscle cramps, fever, dizziness and dehydration.
Here’s how to prevent heat stroke and heat exhaustion:
As we mentioned before…wear a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
Drink plenty of water. It may seem like it's easier said than done when it's hot outside, but staying hydrated is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself against overheating during UV Awareness Month. Even if you're sweating profusely and aren't thirsty, keep drinking.
Avoid the sun during its hottest parts (10am-4pm). While we know this isn't always possible depending on where you live or work right now—if there are no buildings around where people can go inside between those hours then try finding some shade somewhere so that no one gets burned too badly!
AFC Urgent Care Torrington Wishes Everyone A UV Safe Summer!
AFC Urgent Care Torrington wishes everyone a happy 4th of July and to have a healthy and safe summer. If you do feel sick from being in the sun all day or have symptoms of fatigue, dizziness, or thirst, then chances are you might be having a heat stroke or heat exhaustion. We highly suggest seeking medical attention, right away and to keep drinking fluids when possible!
Now that you know a little more about UV radiation, let's recap on how to protect yourself: Sunscreen is the most effective form of protection. It can be applied in liquid or cream form, and should be reapplied every two hours to remain effective. Look for sunscreens with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) rating of at least 30. If you're going to be outdoors for more than 15 minutes at a time, use sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 or higher on exposed skin to avoid getting burned.
AFC in Torrington is open 7 days a week for your urgent care needs and is currently seeing walk-ins and taking appointments for tick bites and removals, travel medicine and vaccines, COVID-19 testing and a whole lot more!